Readers may have been left with an impression of a mayor who is on a spending spree, which is far from the truth, says Thabo Mofokeng.
Durban - The story in the Daily News (and published on IOL under the headline “DA fumes over mayor’s R3m fleet”) refers.
While the story contains factual information as discussed by the Executive Committee on Tuesday, 20 May, it is regrettable that the newspaper has sought to sensationalise the facts in a manner that portrays the mayor, Councillor James Nxumalo, in a negative light.
Firstly, the headline used for the story in the Daily News (“Our Mayor’s R3m fleet approved”), is highly sensational, creating an impression the mayor is purchasing six luxury vehicles for his own personal use.
The fact is that the mayoral fleet is for use by all office bearers, including the mayor, deputy mayor and the Speaker, as well as other councillors who may be assigned to represent the mayor at official functions. These vehicles are also used to ferry international dignitaries who visit the city from time to time, especially as part of the municipality’s sister city co-operation agreements with other international cities.
Any person who may have read your headline or street poster, together with the accompanying picture collage, without reading the substance of the story, could justifiably be left with an impression of a mayor who is on a spending spree, which is far from the truth.
The facts are as follows.
The Exco approved the purchase of six vehicles to replace old cars in the mayoral fleet. The current fleet consists of vehicles that have clocked a mileage of up to 388 000km and are prone to mechanical breakdowns. The vehicles to be replaced are:
Exco praised the mayor for approving the replacement vehicles with modest pricing and adhering to a national Treasury directive for a conservative approach in the purchase of municipal vehicles.
Exco approved the purchase of the following vehicles:
The mayor has shown great leadership, firstly by following national Treasury regulations, and secondly, by using vehicles much less in value than those being used by other municipalities with less status than eThekwini Metro.
eThekwini Municipal spokesman